A Visual Guide to Hiking Smith Rock's Misery Ridge Trail
A literal walk in the park among world class climbers and stunning rock formations in Central Oregon
Canon 5D Mkii
Thirty million years ago overlaying rock collapsed into an underground lava chamber, forming what is now known as Smith Rock. In 1960 it became an Oregon State Park, and the birthplace of sport climbing. And just a month or so ago we went exploring with a handful of friends in town to test a new, secret hiking boot from Danner. Over the course of a typically warm afternoon we put a handful of hard earned miles under us, covering the aptly named Misery Ridge Trail and then some.
It certainly wasn’t the hardest day on the trail we’ve hard—by no means—but it was one of the more scenic, with stunning panoramas of the Central Cascades hiding around every bend and near 360 degree views of the surrounding valley from a handful of terrifying outcroppings.
Consider it a simple reminder that not every trip outside needs to push the limits—it’s the act of getting out that matters most. So go, and explore what your backyard has to offer.